Emily Perry-Musgrave

Emily

Northerner with a passion for lingerie, art, guinea pigs and sarcasm.

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How to Change Your Ableist Vocabulary

ableist

 

I’ve only recently become fully aware of ableist language. The hardest part for me has been realising that phrases such as “crazy” or “stupid”, which were phrases that I used to use at least daily, were contributing to the problem of the negative connotations surrounding mental illnesses and disabilities. I found it harder than I expected to change my vocabulary, as I didn’t realise just how much I used ableist language until I began to change. As someone who experiences mental illness and disability, I’m ashamed that I had been contributing to a problem such as ableism which I should have been working to fight.

Many people still don’t understand the impact of using certain words in everyday contexts as they seem so ‘normal’ in our lives. Many of these words are still used regularly on TV, in magazines, and on social media to the point where some have become numb to the consequences of their use. Obviously, phrases like “retard” are now completely outdated and offensive which is fantastic, but there is still a lot of work to do.

Honestly, the easiest way to understand which words you should no longer be using is to simply listen to those that these words affect and take on board what is considered offensive and why. I think part of the way people can begin to understand the weight of those words is also to refer to them as slurs. Sometimes it can be as easy as replacing using the slur as an adjective and just saying what you actually mean.

To help, I’ve created a list of common phrases that you may not realise are ableist slurs and some alternatives for them. Let me know if you have any more in the comments!

 

Here are a few examples of how you can change your language:

 

Crazy/Mental/Insane – Wild, illogical, not thinking, intense, amazing, wicked, unreasonable, ridiculous, overwhelming, exciting, absurd

eg. “That is absolutely mental” can be changed to “That is absolutely ridiculous”

eg. “Don’t stick your dick in crazy!” can be changed to “I am a misogynistic arsehole with no respect for women”

 

Lame – Gross, awful, inadequate, cringey, disappointing

eg. “What a lame joke” can be changed to “What an awful joke”

eg. “I can’t believe how lame this club is” can be changed to “This club is disappointing”

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Crippled/invalid – poorly, uncomfortable

eg. “I feel like such an invalid today” can be changed to “My back/muscles/head hurts and I feel poorly”

eg. “That yoga left me feeling crippled” can be changed to “I can tell how much exercise I did during yoga”

 

Stupid/slow/idiot – Frustrating, annoying, irritating, pointless, counterproductive

eg. “You’re acting like such a stupid idiot” can be changed to “Your behaviour is really counter-productive”

 

Deaf/blind – Change your phrasing

eg. “Sorry, what? I’m so deaf today!” can be changed to “Can you repeat that? I couldn’t hear you”

 

Schizo/psycho/bipolar/OCD – unpredictable, changeable, difficult, unreasonable, complicated, tricky, puzzling

eg. “This filing system is making my OCD go crazy!” can be changed to “This filing system is really unorganised, it’s making me so frustrated”

eg. “The weather is so bipolar today” can be changed to “The weather is so changeable today”

 

Other phrases that are offensive:

  • Referring to selling an organ for money eg. “I need to sell a kidney to pay for that!” The reality is there are many people out there who need transplants. Making light of that situation is insensitive and thoughtless.
  • Calling something/someone inbred. Those who are victims of inbreeding are victims of abuse and it shouldn’t be used as an adjective.
  • Using the phrase “heart attack” in a hyperbolic sense. Eg. “You gave me a heart attack!” Nothing wrong with simply saying you’re shocked. It can save a lot of painful memories/feelings for those who have closely experienced heart attacks.
  • “I look like I’ve had a stroke” Same as above. Think before you speak.

 

Not seeing a phrase on the list and it’s alternative? Share in the comments!

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How to Survive a Toxic Workplace – Not a Serious Guide

I’m lucky enough that I’ve fallen into a job I love and enjoy, but I got here by working in some jobs which were affecting my health and my social life. Whether you’re a receptionist or an office furniture specialist, there’s no way of knowing what the job is actually going to be like. Sometimes it seems like you have the worst job you possibly could be have, especially after working your arse off or building up a tonne of debt at Uni. However bad it seems, often it’s the people you work with that are the ones that are making things more difficult, not the job itself. Here are some tips for surviving a toxic workplace and progressing your career:

  • When your boss takes the customers/clients side on an issue, be sure to argue with them until they see your perspective. Persistence and passion is key to building an excellent relationship with both clients and your superiors!Toxic Workplace
  • On the occasion that someone within your workplace uses an offensive slur, make a loud screeching noise each time it is used as a learning experience to help them. They’ll really appreciate it and will respect you more as a person!Toxic Workplace
  • When dealing with a difficult customer or client, hum in a very low tone each time they speak. They will eventually think there is an infestation of bees and leave.Toxic Workplace________________________________________________________________________________________

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  • After your the rota is changed without letting you know, take a sleeping bag to work to ensure you never miss a shift again.TOXIC WORKPLACE
  • If your ill health becomes a anecdotal competition with other members of your workplace, make sure to cough/sneeze/vomit in their direction – it will help them understand you’re feeling a bit poorly and garner sympathy from your colleagues.TOXIC WORKPLACE
  • Bonus tip: After your superiors passively aggressively tell you that they can power through any mildly serious illness after you have been given a sick note and don’t send you home straight away, sing the Sound of Music soundtrack for the rest of your shift! This will help them take you seriously and you’ll be sent home immediately. Remix ‘Climb Every Mountain’ for an even quicker result.TOXIC WORKPLACE
  • When your boss orders your work uniform assuming your clothing size, use the misjudged sized garment as a handy tool for cleaning your oven.TOXIC WORKPLACE
  • After you’re told that your appearance is not acceptable for the workplace because your tattoos are showing, draw a comical pair of cat whiskers on your face to show you can do your job no matter how you look and that it does not affect your workplace performance. Your boss will appreciate you thinking outside the box and using your creativity to create a convincing argument.TOXIC WORKPLACE

 

 

Please note that this was just a little bit of fun, and we are working on a serious version of this and it will be live very soon.

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I’m Not Depressed Because I’m Fat

depressed

As someone who has experienced symptoms of depression since I was 11, and then acknowledged I probably did have it when I was 15, my relationship with mental illness has so far been complicated and misunderstood by myself and others. I have also been overweight since my early teens. What society doesn’t realise or wish to comprehend is that the two are not connected.

As someone who has suffered from an eating disorder, hearing comments that my appearance affects my health in any way is quite damaging and can create the risk of undoing of all the hard work I have managed to maintain since recovering from it. I am also very aware that many people are overweight as a symptom of depression and some who are depressed because they are overweight and I’m not saying these people do not exist. I just know so many sufferers of depression that are overweight are not so because the two things are connected.

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I’m fat because I am. It’s who I am and it is how I’m staying. The societal assumption that anyone fat who is depressed must be so because of their appearance is dangerous. I cannot be “fixed” by making changes to my physical appearance. I am not just an aesthetic and treating me as an obesity statistic implies that my physical health is more important than my mental health. Depression does not care whether I am a size 8 or size 28. I have had many battles with depression and I may have more in the future and I will let society know; I am not depressed because I am fat.

When I am suffering from my depression, I am not thinking logically or feel based in reality. I don’t think about my looks. I do not have any kind of concern about washing my hair or putting on perfume or wearing a dress that cinches my waist. It is so much bigger than that. It is so far beyond any kind of concerns society has about how I present myself that thinking about it is almost laughable. I don’t even think about basic needs such as eating, let alone how much I should be consuming or which menu item creates the most balanced meal or has the least amount of calories.

As a culture our focus on appearance is so mighty that we mourn when our eyebrows are plucked too thinly. We are taught aesthetic mistakes are something to be ashamed of or embarrassed by so it’s easy to see why when my peers look at me they think that the beginning of my self-healing journey is to change my dress size. My appearance is important to me because I feel not only am I representing a part of society which is still considered taboo and has negative associations that are powerful enough for people to assume that a result of my mental illness is my obesity but also because the way I look is a reminder that I am happy. It shows that I am at peace after years of battling with self esteem and bullying.

I am embracing and loving myself in a way which my mental illness never allowed me to.

 

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Your Anti-Summer Fashion Guide

I am not a fan of summer and I am not afraid to say it. I have absolutely no interest in summer prints. Or florals. Or anything bright for that matter. The sun generally bothers me. I’m mostly inconvenienced by its appearance every morning and it’s ten times worse when it decides to blast unbearable heat in my direction to the point I’m sweating in areas I didn’t even realise had that bodily function. I have awful hayfever, so those afternoon strolls through meadows can be put on pause. So can picnics and every single insect that seems to make a special journey towards my Babybels while I’m sat on a fuzzy wool-blend blanket in a local park that smells suspiciously like sewage.

I like dark colours so much that I’m pretty sure my soul is a delightful, monochrome houndstooth print. I spend every summer uncomfortable and sweaty. Things rub. Things melt. Things make socially-unacceptable noises. At She Might Be, there are some of us who are equally unimpressed when it comes to temperatures that rise about 14°.

So here is a collection of delightfully dark outfits that won’t make you sweat to the point of becoming liquid form!

 

Anti-Summer Fashion

ASOS Curve Jumpsuit size 16 to 28 – £22.00

I’m not sure why, but I’m kind of in love with this length of jumpsuit. I own the bardot version, and it’s pretty much guaranteed to keep all areas comfortable and well ventilated. Always a bonus.

Anti-Summer Fashion

Elvi Premium Lace Dress size 14 to 26 – On Sale £53.40

Don’t let the Summer sun stop you from making your monthly ritual sacrifice! This Elvi dress will make the coven jealous.

Anti-Summer Fashion

Alice & You Mesh Top size 16 to 28 – £26.00

This top can be teamed with so many different outfits. Jeans, a maxi, a skirt and bralette or as a beach dress. It’s a versatile and light option for your Anti-Summer wardrobe.

 

 

Anti-Summer Fashion

New Look Wide Fit Gladiator Sandals – £15.99

A classic gladiator sandal with minimal lion confrontations.

Anti-Summer Fashion

Hell Bunny Bridget Dress – £65.99

A monochrome dream, this style is especially good for wafting when you’re feeling the heat.

Anti-Summer Fashion

Boohoo Hayley Scallop Choker – £4.00

Because chokers are all year, baby.

Anti-Summer Fashion

New Look Wide Fit Sandals – £25.99

A smarter option which I would actually happily wear as an everyday sandal.

Anti-Summer Fashion
Yours Tapered Mono Print Trousers sizes 16-36 £19.00

I LOVE a clashing print. Especially when it’s on the same piece of clothing. A comfy pair of trousers definitely breaks up the repetitiveness of maxi skirts and dresses. I’d size up. When I get warm, everything swells and seems to want to break free via the seams.

Anti-Summer Fashion

Forever 21 Top £16.00 & Bottoms £15.00

You probably won’t win the 100 metre breaststroke in this bikini (but don’t let me stop you trying!) because the support is going to be slight. But who wants to be competitive when you could be lounging about by the pool?

Anti-Summer Fashion

Boutique Vintage Style Umbrella from jollybrolly.co.uk – £22.99

To be used to shield from the sun or for when, inevitably, it rains for 17 days straight.

Anti-Summer Fashion

Simply Be Mesh Skirt sizes 12 to 26 – £29.00

Mesh. Mesh. All the mesh. Black and sheer are just two things that go as well together as Jamie Dornan and a brooding facial expression.I really love this style of skirt because it also can translate into an Autumn wardrobe really easily.

Anti-Summer Fashion

ASOS Curve Layered Cami Dress size 16 to 28 – £30.00

Loose lace jersey dress. #futurebandname

Anti-Summer Fashion

River Island Black Oversized Sunglasses – £14.00

Perfect for using to avoid eye contact!

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She Might Be Spotlight: Unlucky Lingerie

It’s hard to describe the delight and pure elation I felt when I discovered Unlucky Lingerie. Australia based, Unlucky have built their brand around the belief that all body types deserve beautiful things. Unlucky has so many different designs, including ones that seem to be inaccessible normally to anyone who is plus size. Until I found Unlucky, I struggled to find a brand that catered to my need for lace, glamour and delicate but empowering designs.

Unlucky is all about being yourself and embracing all that’s beautiful about your body. The designs are supportive of curves, as the belief that all women have the right to be able to access high quality garments, regardless of size, at an affordable price point.”

 

Lana Dressing Gown

I own the Lana Dressing Gown, and holy moly, does it make me feel glamorous. I honestly feel like I could take on the world wearing it and I certainly plan on wearing it as an outerwear outfit when the weather gets warmer. Unlucky isn’t just beautifully made, the designs make you feel empowered. Like you can walk out the door wearing just one of their rompers and feel like you will have people in the street bowing down to you as you stride past.

 

Lilac Lace Romper

“We believe that beautiful lingerie is worn for oneself so it’s designed for lazy days, pizza dates, fancy nights with whomever else you wish to show.”

Sheer Applique Babydoll

It’s unusual for me to find a lingerie brand where almost every item they stock is on my wishlist. I am a fiercely picky lingerie addict. I have been grumbling for years that there are so many beautiful designs available to those that are non-plus sized and so little that resembles them for plus size women. I have finally found a lingerie brand that delivers everything I want.

 

Rosa Cami Set

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She Might Be Spotlight: Artist Frances Cannon – Honest, Witty and Empowering

Frances Cannon is an Australian-based artist whose drawings, based on self-love, are upfront about the everyday nature of being female. Often darkly witty or pragmatically honest about showing the truth in the experiences that have a lack of open discussion within society.

Frances Cannon

“Just Right” by Frances Cannon

Importantly, Frances’ work throughout these subjects emphasises self-love and self-acceptance at their core. Her drawings remind us that every little detail about ourselves and our bodies should be cherished and embraced, while showing that there are no such things as flaws. That it is the things that society deem as flaws that actually make us beautiful. Frances Cannon

 

“Let it Flow”

Her work is inspiring thousands to learn to love themselves and helping them become conscious of the importance of self-acceptance, and therefore self-care. She depicts bodily functions and mental health in a way that is recognisable and relatable for many people. She is a voice that is needed as so many of the subjects are still unjustifiably taboo, and the representation she gives to people also empowers them to love themselves.

Frances Cannon

“Hello Body” by Frances Cannon

Frances’ work is so empowering a movement called the Self Love Club developed from her having those words tattooed on herself. Many have followed suit, having the same permanent declaration inked on themselves, promoting and reaffirming the self-care message she so passionately encourages.

The Rules of the Self Love Club:

1. You must always show yourself respect, love, forgiveness and understanding.

2. You must show each other respect, love, forgiveness and understanding.

3. You must be kind to your body, and you must take care of your mental health.

Frances Cannon

“Lovely” by Frances Cannon

When we look at her drawings we see her but also ourselves. They are something that almost every female can identify and relate to. The subjects are presented in such a way that gives us something to smile about while also helping us acknowledge our tendency to be harsh on ourselves, and remind us that we all need to practice self-love.

Frances Cannon

 

“Beautiful” by Frances Cannon

http://francescannonart.com/

http://francescannon.bigcartel.com

https://www.instagram.com/frances_cannon/

 

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I Like My Pants Past My Bellybutton: The 7 Best High Waisted and Deep Briefs

 

If my underwear isn’t sitting past my bellybutton something doesn’t feel right..!

 

Is there an unspoken feeling of satisfaction for some women where our tights, pants, trousers and leggings feel sooo much better when they’re sat on or above our bellybuttons? I, for one, feel comfortable and a sense of security when whatever I’m wearing on my bottom half is reaching that magic, invisible line on my stomach.

 

Working in retail, I have spoken to others and know it’s not just plus size people that like the waist band to reach mostly past our waistlines. I have tights that I can happily tuck into my bra! Perhaps it’s something to do with our bellybuttons feeling perverse or censored and a subconscious need to cover them up?…. Nah, probably not. I just like my fat rolls feeling snug and cozy, no hidden agenda!

 

While my bellybutton is about two inches deep (and I wouldn’t change it for the world) I feel amazing and comfortable and just generally however I want to present myself in that particular moment when I’m wearing some decent, high waisted briefs. I’ve collected my favourites, some tried and tested and others that are certainly on my wishlist! And a rarity – none of them are shapewear!!

Best High Waisted and Deep Briefs

Pretty Secrets Anastasia Hook & Eye Brief With Suspenders

A brief that’s boudoir worthy, Pretty Secrets Anastasia brief also comes with suspenders. The embroidery detail makes them look more than the £14 they cost. They go up to a size 26 with the suspenders being detachable.

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Rose Garden Full Briefs

Rose Garden Full Briefs by Bon Prix 

These are perfect for spring! Pretty and practical, these briefs are only £7.99 and go up to a size 32. I’d team it with a bralette and sip a cup of tea while lounging about like a spoilt and lazy house cat.

 

Raquel - Brown - Raquel Brown Brief

Raquel Elomi Brief

A cute-but-classy brief, Raquel also comes in black. An investment at £22, Elomi cater for up to a size 30 as they go up to a 4xl. The vintage style lace with the art deco effect in this pecan colour is a 10/10 for style and comfort. The matching bra is also rather gorgeous, but I’d quite happily wear these and nothing else while doing some (unsuccessful and counterproductive) spring cleaning. 

 

Light Blue & Pink Floral and Spot Embroidered Briefs

Light Blue & Pink Floral and Spot Embroidered Briefs

£8, available in two other colours and goes to a size 28. Need I say more?

Curves Black Mesh Panel Lace Trim High Waist Briefs | New Look

Black Mesh Panel Lace Trim High Waist Briefs from New Look

I am constantly in love with this cage style in lingerie. These are a bargain at £7.99 and go to a size 26. The beautiful thing about high waisted briefs is that they do come up more generous, so I would size they would definitely fit a size 28.

high waisted brief

Mae by Fantasie High Waisted Brief

A vintage-esque brief, Mae by Fantasie is gorgeous. While I have the bra, I don’t have this matching co-ord (I know, shame on me!) but if the bra is anything to go by, this velvet and lace combo will be comfy and look cute as an everyday wear or as something a bit fancier! It’s another investment at £22, but is such good quality and is so beautifully made that it’s an investment worth making. The sizes are limited, only going to a 2XL (about a size 22) but they do come up slightly bigger.

high waisted briefGossard Purple Deep Shorts

All. The. Lace. It can’t just be me that has an obsession with lace and a deep plum colour, can it? These are available up to a 3xl and are the most expensive on the list at £24. The bow detail on these briefs is a really nice touch and is making me want to match my lipsticks to this colour.

 

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Artists that Will Make You Smile: Melly Em Clark

Melly Em Clark is a Lincoln based queer feminist artist who oozes genuine charm with no motive other than one can only be described as a desire to spread happiness and self-acceptance. She describes herself as a “Queer Feminist and Body Positive would-be Ghostbuster” on her Instagram, and with fiercely feminist messages such as “Lion Hearted Lady” and “Be Inclusive with Body Love” featured in her artwork, it’s not hard to see why. Her style is quirky and unique, generally utilising solid colour juxtaposed with delicate fonts on digital masterpieces, though a quick glance at her pencil drawings proves that Melly is certainly not a one-trick pony.

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It’s rare that an artist can truly show how beautiful they are as a person through their work. Melly has an authentic desire to make the world a better place while battling through the darkness of body-shaming and misogyny. Her work sends out clear messages, challenging gender stereotypes and championing self love above all else.

Melly’s illustrations are delightfully forward-thinking – combining whimsy, bold colours and encouragement that we are all magnificent beings regardless of age, weight, race or gender identification. Her work is relatable to almost all audiences while being created with so much thought and detail that it’s hard not to appreciate the pure kindness and heart that flows through each image.

Her work will influence young and old minds alike for years to come – changing the routines and attitudes of those who feel they are “less than” or those that have self doubt etched into their daily lives. Melly’s unforgettable positivity and optimism have encouraged her followers on social media through some tough times both socially and politically. It’s hard to look at her work and not feel at peace or happy that there are still good people out there willing to be the fighting voice for others who feel unable to speak out.

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